Mines safety alert no. 73 | 03 April 2002 | Version 1
Aerosol can explodes due to exposure to heat
Investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available. The information in this publication is what is known at the time of writing.
We issue Safety Notices to draw attention to the occurrence of a serious incident, raise awareness of risks, and prompt assessment of your existing controls.
All surface mines
Aerosol can used to activate a blast hole gas bag exploded after prolonged exposure to high temperature.
Aerosol activated blast hole gas bags.
Flying metal pieces and other debris. Possible inhalation of gas propellant.
Inappropriate/ incorrect storage, use and handling of gas bags led to prolonged exposure to heat generated by summer conditions causing the aerosol canister to explode.
Comments and recommendations
It is common practice to use aerosol activated gas bags to either temporarily seal a blast hole to prevent persons falling into them or for decking in the loading of explosive product, in most open cut mining operations. During extremely hot periods there have been incidents of the canister overheating and bursting due to being either left out in the sun at the mine warehouse/ storage area or in the blast crew vehicles. The potential for serious injury is high under these circumstances. On all occasions the remnant piece/pieces of the can were propelled 10 metres to 30 metres away and it should be noted that the various propellant gases used can be detrimental to health when inhaled in high concentrations. There are several types of bags in use and they all have different inherent hazards depending on the type of gas propellant used, as well as the explosion hazard common to all.
All open cut mining operations that use these types of gas bags are reminded of their obligations under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 and Regulation 2001 or the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999 and Regulation 2001, especially those related to risk management and control of risk. To achieve this, all open cut mining operations should consider the following,
- Conduct a Risk Assessment on the transport, storage, handling and disposal of aerosol activated gas bags in use at your mine and implement/upgrade controls as identified.
- Conduct a review of Material Safety Data Sheets relating to aerosol activated gas bags to ensure currency.
- All suppliers manufacturers and importers of these types of gas bags are reminded of their obligations under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 and Regulation 2001 or the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999 and Regulation 2001 especially those related to Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act Part 2 division 3 section 41(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6) and section 43(1)(2)(3) and Coal Mining Safety and Health Act Part 3 Division 3 section 44(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)and section 46(1)(2)(3). To achieve this all suppliers, manufacturers and importers should consider the following,
- Conduct a Risk Assessment on your type of gas bag to ensure it is fit for use at the mine sites you supply.
- Review the relevant Australian Standards requirements to ensure compliance.
- Review Material Safety Data Sheets to ensure currency.
Issued by Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines
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